How UP Police Helped This Indian Return From Saudi

‘We brought him back within 20 days of the complaint.’

Rakesh Upadhyay, 35, returned to India from Saudi Arabia on Friday, July 15, 2022, with the help of the Indian embassy in Riyadh.

His employer had refused to return his passport or pay him his salary arrears till the embassy intervened.

If you walk into any police station in our country, you will see a map of their jurisdictional area and woe anyone who tries to complain from outside this area or even from its border.

So it is a matter of pride that the Koirana police station in Badohi district, Uttar Pradesh, accepted a complaint from Kamlesh Upadhyay that his brother Rakesh was being held in Saudi Arabia against his will.

“When the complaint was forwarded to me, I wrote to the ministry of external affairs,” Badohi District Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar tells Rediff.com’s A Ganesh Nadar. “They contacted the Indian embassy in Riyadh and the matter between the employer and employee was sorted out.”

“Rakesh Upadhyay is back in his Sonpur village. We brought him back within 20 days of the complaint,” says Anil Kumar.

Rakesh joined the company in Riyadh as a plumber on a two-year contract that ended on June 20, 2021.

After his visa expired, he told his employer that he did not want his visa renewed, he wanted to go back home.

The employer did not return his passport or pay his wages for a year while he continued to work there.

Rakesh has studied up to Class 12, is married and has two sons.

After finishing his schooling, Rakesh went to Mumbai and worked at a company there in their mechanical department.

He also learnt plumbing skills on the job in Mumbai where he lived from 2003 to 2014.

The job in Riyadh was his first abroad. “My relative was working in this company at that time, he no longer does. He got me this job and I went there in 2019,” he says.

From the beginning, he says the company paid his salary every 2 or 3 months and not every month. He used to send the salary home as his wife does not work.

“I had no difficulty in doing my job, the only problem was getting my salary late,” he adds.

His problems started when his work visa expired.

“I told them I don’t want them to renew my visa and I want to go back. They took my signature on a piece of paper, but did not allow me to come back,” he says.

As his salary was given irregularly, by the time he completed three years at the company, Rakesh was owed an entire year’s salary.

He did not complain to the police as that is a complicated process in Saudi Arabia.

Instead, he told his brother about his forced stay there. His brother’s complaint to the local police station in UP alerted the MEA, which activated the Indian embassy in Riyadh.

“A few days after my brother complained, I got a call from the Indian embassy. They told me that they would take care of my problem and I should not worry,” Rakesh says.

Rakesh and his employer were summoned to the embassy with the help of the local police.

The employer agreed to pay Rakesh’s salary and also return his passport. But the employer did not pay him immediately, saying he did not have the money at that time.

Rakesh had to approach the embassy again. The employer was summoned to the embassy a second time and warned that legal action would follow.

After that consular caution, the employer returned Rakesh’s passport, bought his return ticket and also gave him Rs 60,000.

He came back to India with this amount.

“They still owe me Rs 350,000. They said they will send it, I don’t know when,” says Rakesh.

“After coming back, I have not spoken to my employer or the embassy about the money still owed to me,” he adds.

“I am never going to go abroad to work again,” Rakesh says with a sigh.

“I have not decided about going to Mumbai. I need to rest. I will decide later what I wish to do and where.”

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